Despite being born in Montreal, Quebec, Bode Wilde was brought up in the American hockey system. He is a big, strong, and talented two-way defenseman. Modeling his style of play after the Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson, Wilde’s smooth skating and strong shot will ensure he is taken in the first round of this year’s NHL entry draft.
He’s got the size and the talent that the Wings are looking for, but is he a good fit for the team? Let’s dive in and find out.
NHL CS RANKING
Projected to go 17th overall among North American skaters.
Wilde’s point totals might seem all over the map over the course of his career, but they show a steady level of improvement year-over-year. His 19 points in the 2016-17 season for the U.S. National U17 Team turned into 41 points the following year on the U18 team. His most impressive performance was at the U17 World Hockey Championships in 2016-17, where he put up two goals and six points in five games. The 2018 World Junior Championships were a low point for him, as he went pointless through seven games.
Next year, Wilde has committed to the University of Michigan’s excellent hockey program. Should he commit to his education, he won’t see the NHL for another four years. I doubt that he’ll simmer for that long in the NCAA, but it’s always a consideration.
THE EYE TEST
You can’t miss Wilde when he’s on the ice. Standing at 6’2”, he’s surprisingly smooth on his skates. He’s smart in his own end and makes a great first pass. He’s an excellent transition defenseman.
Offensively, he’s got a solid shot that always finds the net. He’s also very aware of where his teammates are on the ice and can always find them with a tape-to-tape pass. He could easily quarterback a power play.
There are questions about Wilde’s consistency in his own end. Sometimes, he’s flawless. Other times, it’s as if he doesn’t know where he is. He needs to work on his positioning and taking away the opposition’s passing and shooting lanes.
IS HE A MOTOR CITY MATCH?
A big right-handed defenseman who can break out with the puck and quarterback a power play? Sign me up!
In Cameron Kuom’s final entry draft rankings, he has Wilde going 22nd overall, which is not ideal for the Red Wings draft positions.
Wilde would be a great fit for Detroit, but he’s not the top-2 elite talent that they need. He will be a great support defenseman in the NHL. If he falls to 30, there is no question that the Wings should take him, but is he worth trading up for? In my opinion, no.
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